Despite my desire to spend less on groceries, I am finding that food inflation is outpacing my savings attempts. So how do we save money on food?
It is quite scary to add up how much you actually spend on food and toiletries each month. I consider myself a thrifty cook but outside of serving rice and beans every night, it is crazy how much food costs these days.
To offset the high cost of feeding a somewhat large family, I try and cook almost all of our meals at home. Hubby and I do like to have a meal out alone once a week but we have changed from dinners out to breakfasts at a local place that with coupons and often sharing, we can get out of there for $20. Compared to what it would cost to go out for dinner, this is a big savings. We will do this now more often. I can then switch that money over to our grocery budget.
I debated whether to join Sam's Club again, but after crunching the numbers, it is more than worth it given how much I cook a week. Our family eats 2-3 loaves of bread a week because of breakfast and lunches for most of us made from home daily. Our older girls often fend for themselves out for lunch. I am of the mind that I will not be baking our own bread any time soon. With the chores, homeschooling, warmer and warmer temps in SoCal, animals and the work of the garden, I do not have time to take on one more task.
So Sam's provides some of the best deals on bread. However, if our market has a good special I will buy 4-6 loaves and freeze them.
The garden is yielding more now. We are currently picking lots of greens, radishes and bok choy. Five dinners so far of bok choy and greens for our vegetable is more than enough savings on the seeds spent to plant them. With warmer temps they are bolting so the chickens are getting a bunch a day and they love them. Saves on feed costs too. Beets are coming in and we love them. I did five successive plantings of beets packed in with my intensive gardening methods.
Other savings have been a repair to our car that we thought would be over $1000 ending up at only $350. Our van is 12 years old. We will drive it at least until the end of the year when we may replace with a newer used car. Our other cars are 13 and six years old. We like to drive them into the ground. Maintenance is key.
I have been using coupons whenever I can on purchases outside of groceries. A pair of shoes for myself and my daughter bought with a coupon saved me 15%. Both pairs we a little over $30 total for. I am pretty frugal about my own wardrobe since I do not work. I buy one to two pairs of shoes each season and that is it. I do not like a lot of clutter in the closet and prefer to buy basic apparel that goes with a lot of things.
What have you done this week to save money?